Still sorting pounds of parts and pieces I bought, along with a couple of hundred machines. Even though I favor high quality older machines, I can offer the less expensive older ones, and even the dreaded plastic ones. But if I do, they will be priced to cover the value of the foot control, a few other parts and the labor for making sure they are ready to go.
Some of the simple, vintage low-end machines are fine for seeing if a youth or anyone, will stick with sewing after they give it a try, before a lot of money is invested. But really cheesy new plastic ones are not a good way to introduce someone to sewing. They are often frustrating and a poor representation of the tool.
Repurposing clothing, making your own curtains and pillows, repairing, altering, or quilting and fiber art doesn't require spending more than $85 for a basic pre-serviced vintage machine.
Wait until you see the black, long-bed 301 I bought. Very sweet!
Recently I was invited to put several machines in local shops. I want to encourage folks in the Shelton, WA area to visit "Sew Now Studio" on 321 First Street next door to Ritz Burgers in Shelton, WA and Olympia area folks to seek out "reFabulous" on Blk Lake Blvd, just a bobbin throw away from "Outback Steak House". "Black Bear Diner", and "Olive Garden" in West Olympia. Both teaching/ repairing/ tailoring shops have a wonderful display of machines, and both are owned by wonderful, creative, fun, sewing experts. Just stop by either place and look around! They both offer more than just learning-to-sew classes.
Scroll down and see some of the machines for sale at "reFabulous."
I have well over 400 sewing machines; treadle, hand crank, lockstitch forward-only flatbeds (circa 1890 -1920), then the added reverse, machines from other countries (now they are all from other countries), zigzag, utility stitches, machines that take cams, and right up through the seventies where soon there wasn’t an "all metal" domestic sewing machine being built. Like a lot of other fanciful tools, we went from... "not quite sure how this contraption works, but better than doing it by hand," to... "a revolution that changed America forever!" and then to... "bling-bling-for-a-few-months-plastic-disposable." And sadly it is acceptable to buy something, use it for a few months, or maybe a year or two, then throw it in the landfill. And yet, for years we built machines that have lasted 150 years, light bulbs that lasted for decades. We have become a nation of quantity, not quality, and our untethered greed has dumbed us down. Even education is about supply and demand. So this is more than an interest, it's a tiny revolution.
So why do I love fixing these wonderful humming machines?
I grew up helping my dad make something work, even if it was for a few minutes. There we were standing just outside a leaning barn, Dad holding a can of starter fluid. I would stare at the engine wondering if this cough was a start, or or its last as it sputtered and spewed belched black smoke and heaved temporarily off its rotten motor mounts. Then as we held our breath whether a little English Austin, a rain soaked Jeep, or a dream and scheme Dodge truck would cough and start. Ours eyes would meet as though we wanted to own the victory together and if it stayed running, life was good.
Even if it was for a few minutes.
I'm reminded of those wonderful times on the farm with my dad - when I find a seized up machine. Especially those, I'm convinced is a masterpiece of engineering, and I think I can bring it back to life. And I guess, because an old sewing machine is less complicated than an old car, one restoration has led to another, and another, and... well you can guess.
Choose the "Sewing Machines for Sale" page and see what I’ve posted this month!
This Neechi Supernova sews beautifully. One switch on the bottom right side was repaired and will look different. The cabinet it sits on, along with stool, and a lot of accessories, book, and cams are included. This is for an advance, or soon to be advance sewer, because she can do almost anything. This is a big and complete package!
Elna, a name that always meant tight engineering and solid, precision performance. It will sew its heart out with nice straight stitches and zigzag. Then with the highly sought after cams, she will do more. A good machine for constant use. Elnas don't care to sit for years and years, so hopefully a vigorous sewer will find her.
Sewing Machine Help
I'm still working on bringing sewing machine maintenance, manuals, diagrams, suggestions and other kinds of vintage sewing machine help to this webpage. Sorry I'm such a computer goof.